No games machines, no music, no pool table and no cordon bleu food menu to distract the taste buds - but The Star Inn still shines on in Bath. The 16th century pub on the Paragon is one of only two pubs in the city to make the main listings in the 2004 Good Pub Guide. The judges all agreed that "this old pub gives a strong sense of the past. With no machines or music, chat's the thing here - or perhaps cribbage, dominoes and shove halfpenny."
The pub, first licensed in 1759, is the brewery tap of Bath's only brewery, Abbey Ales Ltd, who took it under their wing just under four years ago. At that time owners Punch Taverns were looking for - someone to take over the running of the Star and there had been grave concerns that the pub might have to close, but publicity over the plight of the historic watering hole located in the listed building attracted Alan Morgan, Managing Director of Abbey Ales.
"It had always been one of my favourite pubs and although trade as very quiet et when we first took over, I knew it had potential and the pub has gone from strength to strength. We now have a loyal band of regulars from locals to tourists, and many students who come for the draught Bass and our own Bellringer," he commented.
The pub is described by CAMRA (The Campaign of Real Ale) as a "rare and unspoiled pub interior of outstanding historic interest" and it is listed on the National Inventory of Heritage Pubs. There are four different drinking areas - the smaller bar, still used by many of the regulars, features a long single bench known as "death row" where a complimentary pinch of snuff can still be found in the tins on the ledge above the wall panelling.
There is always a selection of fresh rolls and on Sunday the pub has gained a reputation for its free bar snacks ranging from quail eggs sausage rolls and a selection of cheeses.
Set amongst the splendour of Baths Georgian architecture, the Star provides a welcome escape from the bustle of city life, with conversation flowing free of the challenge of background music, and other electronic distractions.
23 The Vineyards Off the Paragon (A4) Bath
BA1 5NA Tel:01225 425 072
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